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Dreambox by Dream-Multimedia-logo

The Dreambox is a Linux-based DVB receiver with Conditional Access capabilities.Dreambox DM7020
There are tuners available for satellite, terrestrial and cable digital television. It is produced by the German company Dream Multimedia. Its firmware is officially user-upgradable, since it is a Linux-based computer, as opposed to third-party "patching" of alternate receivers.

All units support Dream's own DreamCrypt conditional access (CA) system, with software-emulated CA Modules (CAMs) available for many alternate CA systems. The Dreambox is very similar to the DBox2 units distributed by Kirch Media for its pay-TV services before its bankruptcy. It uses the same Linux-based software originally developed for the DBox2. The built-in Ethernet interface allows networked computers to access the recordings on the internal hard disks on some Dreambox models. It also enables the receiver to store digital copies of DVB transport streams on networked filesystems or broadcast the streams as IPTV to VideoLAN clients. Unlike many PC based PVR systems that use free-to-air type of DVB receiver cards the built-in conditional access allows receiving and storing encrypted content. Last but not least, the ethernet interface makes it possible to connect to the built-in web interface. If the dreambox is connected to the internet this means it can be controlled from any PC in the world!

The incredible list of Dreambox DM7020 features:
  • 250 MHz PowerPC Processor (350 Mips)
  • Linux open source (most parts under the terms of GPL)
  • Supports Linux Standard API (Direct-FB, Linux-FB, LIRC)
  • 1 x DVB Common Interface Slot
  • 2 x Smartcard Reader
  • Dreambox Remote Control
  • Integrated Compact Flash Interface Slot
  • MPEG2 Hardware decoding (fully DVB compliant)
  • Common NIM DVB-S
  • Modem with RJ11 socket
  • 12V switchable cinch
  • Liquid Crystal Display 128 × 64 pixels
  • 32 MByte Flash
  • 96 MByte RAM
  • Integrated IDE UDMA66 Interface
  • Support for internal HDD in any capacity
  • Unlimited channel lists for TV and Radio
  • Channel change time < 1 second
  • Infrared Remotecontrol (see picture on the right)
  • Fully adaptable OSD in many languages and skin-support
  • S/PDIF Interface for digital bit stream out (both PCM and Dobly Digital AC-3)
  • 2 × SCART-interface    - TV-SCART: CVBS, RGB, S-Video - OSD selectable
                                    - VCR-SCART: CVBS
  • RF modulator, select UHF channel 21 to 69 with OSD
  • Audio/Video cinch out
  • MINI-DIN connector for external IR (send)
  • Tuner frequency Range 950 - 2150 MHz
  • Tuner signal Level - 65 dBm to - 25 dBm
  • Tuner signal to noise level 12 dB max.
  • Tuner input connector F-type female
  • Tuner input Impedance 75 Ohm
  • Tuner AFC +/- 3 MHz
  • Demodulation Shaped QPSK
  • FEC Viterbi and Reed-Solomon Viterbirate 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8
  • Roll-off Factor 35 %
  • Demultiplexing according ISO 13818-1
  • Video Compression MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 compatible
  • Video Standard PAL 625 lines / NTSC 525 lines
  • Video Formats 4:3 / 16:9 Anamorphic / 16:9 Letterbox with SCART pin 8 functionality (0 Volt / 6 Volt / 12 Volt)
  • Audiocompression MPEG-1 & MPEG-2 Layer I and II
  • Audio Sample Frequency: 16 kHz, 22.05 kHz, 24 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz
  • Analog Audio Output Level L/R 0,5 Vss on 600 Ohm, THD > 60 dB (1 kHz), Crosstalk < -65 dB
  • Digital Audio Output Level 0,5 Vss on 75 Ohm, Sampled Data Filtering 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, S/PDIF-Output optical (AC3)
  • Input Level FBAS 1 Vss +/- 0.3 dB on 75 Ohm, Teletext filter in conformity with ETS 300 472 Standard
  • Serial Interface V.24 RS232 bidirectional, Bitrate 115,2 kBit/s max. Connector SUB-D-9 for Firmware update
  • 10/100 MBit compatible Ethernet Interface with RJ45 socket
  • USB 1.2 connector
  • Mini DIN I2C for steering of external devices
  • Internal UDMA66 IDE Interface for connection of HDD or Compact Flash - Reader
  • LNB Current 500 mA maximum - Short circuit protected
  • LNB Voltage vertical < 14V no load, > 11,5V at 400 mA
  • LNB Voltage horizontal < 20V no load, > 17,3V at 400 mA
  • LNB shut-off at Standby-Mode
  • DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 so it supports multiple LNB-Switching control
    DiSEqC Rotor Control and STAB USALS (Universal Satellites Automatic Location System)
  • Web Interface with more than one hundred control functions
  • Electronic Program Guide, with list for active channel and information of other channels is stored. The result is a ever increasing EPG list of programmes running and to come on all channels sending EPG.
  • Search EPG of all channels for an Event or a String and set timers directly
  • Additional EPG functions (Dishnetwork EPG, MediaHighway EPG, cache, storage location)
  • EPG Information of the recorded movies can be showed without starting the record
  • Addon Server via Internet, adding additional functions via internet from a Server and install them automatically
  • Setting are XML based, so fully user configurable
  • Different Conditional Access Modules can be linked to channels/provider (Autocam)
  • Changing the name and settings via On Screen Display or OSD menu.
  • Dreambox can be used as printserver
  • Dropbear (SSH) now switchable
  • Upnp Client and Server
  • Automount for devices, NFS or CIFS will be automatically mounted. Ideally for DVD- or Net- Drives
  • Inadyn Daemon for different DYNDNS services
  • Little Apache HTTP server (based on HTTPD)
  • NFS server based on the NFS kernel modules
  • Position of the Infobar can be changed without editing the skin files
  • Provider, Frequencies, Symbolrate and FEC can be displayed in the Infobar (If the Skins matches this function)
  • Display of EMM, ECM or "Expertinfos" are switchable
  • Picon (displaying the Channel logo)
  • Extensions for Skins (Thumbnails, 3D-Font, Pictures for Progressbar)
  • Background picture can be turned off
  • Backgroundpictures (Radio- and File Mode) can be used as Screensaver.
  • Changing Bootlogo via menu
  • Backgroundpictures and Bootlogos can be created, testet and used direct on the Box (out of JPG, BMP, GIF or PNG)
  • Showing Onlinestatus when the Box is connected to the Internet (must be activated in Expert Menu -> Network)
  • Support for CDROM/DVD no matter using IDE or USB
  • JPEG's can be rotated and dislaying of the EXIF-Tags
  • Support for OGG/Vorbis
  • Random function for MP3 and OGG
  • Backup function
  • 2 new root entries for music and pictures can be created in the filemenu
  • Dreamnetcast (Shoutcast player) with Streamripper (direct recording from server and coding into mp3's)
  • System Info: Many infos like stream-rates, kernel-, memory- and processinformation.
  • Changing the recording parameters (extra before- and after- recording time, storage location and recovery function for your records)
  • Font and Libfribidi e.g. for arabic
  • Quick Button Menu: Many extra features under a button (e.g permanent clock in OSD, freeze Image, audio selection)
  • Alarm clock with volume offset playing own WAV files
  • Calander for iCalander format + reminder (Supported by MAC, KDE, Thunderbird, Goole calander, Rainlendar...)
  • Support for DreamDVD no matter wether a DVD drive is available or not
  • Possibility of RSS and Weather Plugin
  • eTorrent - a torrent client based on ctorrent. Can be managed completly over the OSD
  • Disable the TV-out (SCART out) while you take a record (only makes sense with the 500)
Dreambox KeyboardThe combination of third-party developers and network connectivity which facilitates card sharing, makes Dreambox use particularly common among enthusiasts and those who intend to obtain services without payment. Third-party software for this purpose is neither officially endorsed nor supported by Dream Multimedia and voids the official warranty; however, unofficial web sites support a large community of enthusiasts.

Models

There have been a number of different models of Dreambox available. The numbers are suffixed with -S for Satellite, -T for Terrestrial and -C for Cable.


  DM8000 DM7000 DM7025(+) DM7020 DM56x0 DM500(+) DM500HD DM800 DM600 DM100
System-on-Chip BCM7400 STB04500 Xilleon 226 STB04500 STB04500 STBx25xx BCM7405 BCM7401 STBx25xx ?
RAM 256 64 128 96 64 96 256 256 96 256
Flash 32 8 8 32 8 32 32 64 32 64
Common Interface 4 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
Compact Flash 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Smart cards 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
USB 2.0 1.1 1.1 1.1 no no 2.0 2.0 no 2.0
RF modulator no no yes yes yes no no no no no
SCARTs 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1


DM8000

This is the long-awaited high definition PVR. Like the DM7025, it supports pluggable tuner modules. In addition to High Definition, it could also have a DVD drive(slot in). And it has USB 2.0. Physically on the box it has one DVI-port, but with the supplied DVI to HDMi Cable you get HDMI.
This product was originally announced to be available in the beginning of 2007, but its release date slipped. The actual release day was 12.12.2008. The planned features were revised as well. Originally, this model was supposed to have 128 MB of RAM (now 256), 32 MB of flash (now 256 MB) and a 300 MHz processor (now 400 MHz Broadcom 7400). Other Linux-based HD receivers became available in the meantime.

DM7000 (discontinued)

The DM7000 is based around the IBM STB04500 controller, featuring a PowerPC processor subsystem and hardware MPEG decoding, has 64 MB of RAM, 8MB of NOR flash memory (directly executable), a Common Interface slot, a dual smart card reader, a Compact Flash card reader, a USB 1.1 port, and an PATA (a.k.a. IDE) interface for attaching an internal 3.5" hard disk drive to convert the unit into a digital video recorder. Accepts only 220V AC power.

Because the boot loader resides in flash memory, this model may require the use of a JTAG in case of bad flashing which destroyed the boot loader. However, a bad flash will occur under rare scenarions, and rarely - near never will you need a JTAG.

DM7025

The DM7025 is essentially a DM7020 with the ability to add a second "snap-in" tuner that makes it possible to watch one programme while recording another. It features a Xilleon 226 system-on-a-chip from ATI, integrating a 300 MHz MIPS CPU core instead of the traditional PowerPC found in other models, and has 128 MB of RAM.

DM7020

The DM7020 is essentially an updated DM7000 with 96 MB of RAM, 32 MB of NAND flash (disk-like) and an RF modulator. Changes were also made on the software side, utilising Open Embedded for the base Linux operating system.

Because the flash memory of this model is not directly executable, the primary boot loader resides in ROM and can recover corrupted secondary boot loader in flash by loading from the serial port.

DM56X0 (discontinued)

There was a DM5600 and also a DM5620 model. The only difference being that the DM5620 included an ethernet port. Otherwise, the DM56X0 models were a cut down version of the DM7000 without an IDE interface. They did, however, include an RF modulator allowing them to be used with older TVs that lack a SCART connector.

DM500 (discontinued), DM500+ (discontinued), DM500HD

The DM500 is the successor to the DM5620 and is the smallest and cheapest Dreambox. It is based around an IBM STBx25xx Digital Set-Top Box Integrated Controller, featuring notably a 252 MHz PowerPC processor subsystem, hardware MPEG 2 video and audio decoding and smart card interfaces. The DM500 features 32 MB of RAM and an unspecified amount of Flash memory, probably 8 MB, given that firmware images are about 5 MB. It has the standard features of a free-to-air (FTA) satellite receiver, plus extensive Fast Ethernet networking connectivity and a single smart card reader. It does not feature a 7-segment LED display, normally found in other FTA decoders.

Also has the ability to be used on Digital satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcasts (also known as DVB-S, DVB-C, DVB-T).

Counterfeit versions of the DM500-S are wide spread and are often sold at a price close to the original. As a result, Dream Multimedia introduced the DM500+, with changes to try to prevent further counterfeiting. The DM500+ model has 96 MB of RAM instead of 32, and 32 MB of NAND flash instead of 8 of NOR flash. This makes it similar to the DM600 PVR model. It is only available in DVB-S versions.

There also exist legal clones, built around the same commodity IBM SoC chip and hence having identical or slightly superior features but not sold under the Dreambox brand name, eg. the Envision 500S (with 48 megabytes of RAM instead of 32, also available in a 500C cable version), the Eagle box or the Linbox 5558. They have a retail price approaching the one of non-Linux receivers, generally a fraction of the Dreambox 500 price.

In April 2008, Dream Multimedia introduced a Time Bomb into their latest flash to disable the boot loader on counterfeit models. An unofficial firmware group called Gemini who used the latest flash drivers in their firmware, found that flash corruption would be caused on clone DM500-S receivers. Other developers of unofficial firmware groups would find boxes to be effected by this if they use the latest drivers, providing another time bomb is to be introduced.

DM800

This is essentially a high definition version of the DM600, featuring a single pluggable DVB tuner (S/S2, C or T), a 300 MHz MIPS processor, 64 Mbytes of Flash memory, 256 Mbytes of RAM and room for an internal SATA 2.5" disk.
It also features one DVI to HDMi Cable, two USB 2.0, one eSATA and one 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet interfaces.
It has an OLED display.

DM600

The DM600 is the same small size as the DM500 but includes an IDE interface allowing to add an internal 2.5" laptop-type hard disk drive. On the outside it adds an S-Video output connector and an analog modem port. It is built around the same IBM STBx25xx integrated controller, but features 32 MB of flash and 96 MB of RAM, of which 64 MB are user-accessible. It is possible to change the tuner module, selecting between Satellite, Terrestrial and Cable versions. There is still just one SCART connector and no 7-segment LED display, just 2 status LEDs. The provided remote control unit is fancier and allows to control the TV set as well.

Software

The Linux-based software used by Dreambox was originally developed for DBox2, by the Tuxbox project. The Dbox2 was a proprietary design distributed by Kirch Media for their pay TV services. The bankruptcy of Kirch Media flooded the market with unsold boxes available for Linux enthusiasts. The Dreambox shares the basic design of the DBox2, including the Ethernet port and the PowerPC processor.

The factory-installed distribution on the Dreambox is mostly available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and uses standard Linux API's, including Linux DVB API and Linux Infrared Remote Control (LIRC). This configuration encourages enthusiasts to modify its functions, particularly in the form of so-called images such as Gemini, Neutrino, Colosseum, BoxMan, DreamForum, iCVS, LT, Merlin, MiLo, Nabilosat, NewNigma2, OoZooN, Peter Pan, PLi, OpenPLi, Ronaldd and Sif

The Dreamcypt conditional access system is present in every dreambox. In addition, unofficial third-party conditional access software modules (CAMs or emulators) are widely circulated on the Internet that emulate CA systems. In total the dreambox is capable of decrypting the following:
There are also third-pparty addons & plugins available that will extend the functionality of the Dreambox too. Some plugins are model specific, while others run all boxes. Plugins such as Jukebox and SHOUTcast playback, also external XMLTV guides, a web browser is available, and a VLC media player interface for on demand streaming media. Games are also abundant like PacMan and Tetris.

In addition, unofficial third-party conditional access software modules (CAMs or emulators) are widely circulated on the Internet. Many Dreambox owners use these softcams in conjunction with card sharing software to access pay TV services without a subscription card inserted in every connected box. This practice may be illegal in some jurisdictions.
  • CCcam
  • Bbox (GBox clone)
  • Camd3
  • CamX
  • Chameleon2
  • DreamCryptCam
  • EvoCamd
  • Firecam
  • GBox
  • MaGicCamd
  • Mbox
  • MPCardServer
  • Nasscam SPCS
  • NewCam
  • Newcamd
  • NewCS
  • OpenCam
  • OSCamRadegast
  • RQCam
  • Sbox
  • SCam
  • Tcam
  • XCam
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